Managers can be dense. But the manager in this story makes most managers seem like aerographite in comparison. (One of the world's least-dense materials, duh.)
Recently, a manager at a customer service center wrote into the advice site Ask a Manager. This customer service manager wanted to know the right way to approach an ex-employee who quit on the spot because the manager wouldn't give the employee two hours off to go to her own graduation (the employee was taking night classes part-time). The manager explained:
I told this team member that she could not start two hours late and that she would have to skip the ceremony. An hour later, she handed me her work ID and a list of all the times she had worked late/come in early/worked overtime for each and every one of her coworkers. Then she quit on the spot.
OK, that's crappy. And at first, the manager's response seems good and properly regretful:
I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.
But then the note takes a turn into crazy town, because the manager doesn't want to apologize to this former employee. Oh, no. They want to warn the employee that she shouldn't screw up again at future jobs:
Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?